How could there not be magic in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee? It seems sort of logical that The Smoky Mountains be filled with eeriness. Spend some time trying to figure out what this novel reminds you of: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Poisonwood Bible, Fried Green Tomatoes, something by M. Night Shyamalan, or Cormac McCarthy, or Wendell Berry. Not a bad crowd to be in the mix of. This story is epic—it spans four generations, a whole community: from the past depression to the present depression, and all in the highly depressed region of Appalachia. There’s a lot of black magic going on here, a lot of sadness and remedies and wisdom of women. A lot of bad decisions, a lot of young death. “Love can be too deep; it’ll make you do crazy things.” There’s love of all kinds–between mother and daughter, between twin siblings, between men and women. Love for the land: red sap, copperheads, wild horses, bloodroot. These characters are coated in a curse or a miracle that keeps them tied to their mountain. Tied to a road that circles back, and leads them all the way home.